Walk over Rivington Pike and Winter Hill, Bolton, Lancashire
Rivington Pike and Winter Hill, West Peninne Moors
Today, Saturday 26th February 2016, was Football Day! My husband, Greg, is a keen Bolton Wanderers supporter, so we decided to have a walk over Rivington Pike just outside of Bolton before the game as part of my #walk1000miles Challenge.
We walked up to the Pidgeon Tower first of all. Apparently there used to be Chinese Gardens here many years ago, which have fallen into disrepair. It seems like there is now funding available to restore them to their former glory.
We then walked UP further to Rivington Pike. This was over 500 feet/ 150 metres almost straight up from the car park. The views are stunning and it is well worth the climb, even if my calves disagreed with so many steps!
We had our picnic lunch at the top. By this time, it was getting on for 1pm and Greg was itching to get going because the football game kicked off at 3pm and he still had 3 miles to walk downhill to the football stadium.
We set off at a brisk pace and soon came to the point where he continued his downhill journey and I started my climb up to the top of Winter Hill. I climbed over 400 feet/ 125 m up to some stones which were set on a ridge.
I thought this was the top and it would be a straight walk across the ridge to the TV masts, but it wasn’t as simple as that. The path dropped down a little and then started another ascent to the very top of Winter Hill.
In total there was over 800 feet / approximately 250 metres height difference from the car park to the top of Winter Hill! No wonder my legs were complaining!
From there I came around the masts to what I thought was the path down over the other side. I looked as people and animals had walked along it quite regularly. It was more “path-like” in some parts. In other places it was very boggy and marshy. The path seemed to pick its way through the worst of the reeds and water.
There was only one place where I completely misjudged the solidness- or lack of it- of the ground and my boot sunk into the bog and I fell on my bottom. Fortunately I had my walking pole with me and was able to use that as a leverage to pull myself up. I had not put on my waterproof trousers as I thought the walk would be quite dry, so I spent the rest of the walk with a very wet, soggy and muddy bottom.
I have discovered that I need to brush up on my map reading skills as I re-joined the road in a completely different place than I thought I would. I was glad I was out walking on a dry day, in a popular spot with plenty of people around me. When I fell over, there was a group of 3 other walkers not far behind me, so I am sure they would have helped me if I had been really stuck.
I would not have wanted to be out here on my own any later in the day or in foggy conditions.
I was glad to get back to the car and enjoy the last of my warm tea from my thermos.
I then realised that I had not brought a full change of clothes with me. For some reason I had thought to pack spare knickers and socks, but nothing else. The only option I had was to change into my perfectly-dry waterproof trousers, which were waiting for me in the boot of the car. Hereby followed a frantic attempt to divest myself of three layers of wet walking trousers, whilst also trying to look inconspicuous in a public car park!
I still managed to get back to the football ground before the end of the game to collect Greg.
I have realised there is a huge difference between walking 8 – 10 miles along flat canal paths and following a 5 mile circular route that has and 800 feet/ 250 m climb in the middle of it!
Well, I have dubbed myself as the “Mountain Walking Girl – with a love of Fine Cake” and my ultimate aim is to live in a mountainous area, where I can walk and write, then I need to get myself physically ready to do that.
I realised today that I have come a long way since January, but I still have a lot to do to get myself ready for Mountain Living. It is a Walking Work in Progress and I have this #walk1000mile challenge from Country Walking Magazine to thank for getting me motivated to take the actions I need to take to live my DreamLife.
Amanda and Greg